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On July 4, Hot Dogs Won't Be Top Dog

Independence Day remains the most popular grilling holiday of the year, followed by Labor Day, birthdays, Memorial Day and Father's Day. , / Credit: Hotdog image via Shutterstock

When families fire up the grill for their July 4 cookout next week, they'll be pleased to find that their provisions won't be as pricey as they were last year.  According to a new survey, the average price of an Independence Day picnic is down a few dollars to $59.14 (from $61.16 in 2011). The total nationwide tab for cookouts is estimated to be $2.4 billion, based on a shopping list of cookout staples.

More than 160 million Americans will celebrate the 4th of July by hosting or attending a cookout/barbecue and/or picnic, according to a survey conducted by BIGinsight for the National Retail Federation.  But concern regarding rising food costs will have them on the lookout forthe best prices on cookout supplies this year.  The good news is that they'll be in luck, the survey found.

"With grocers relying on select loss leaders to drive consumers into their stores for the upcoming 4th of July holiday, we may see a few fireworks among competing retailers," said Pam Goodfellow, BIGinsight's consumer insights director. "Expect budget-oriented shoppers to rely on ad circulars, coupons and even their mobile devices as they seek out the best prices for their cookout supplies – which may or may not be at their favorite grocery store this year."

More Americans Say Grill, Baby, Grill

The vast majority (90 percent) of those families that own a charcoal, gas or electric outdoor grill or smoker will be grilling their 4th of July feast. According to a survey commissioned by grill manufacturer Weber, 90 percent of American grill owners will fire up their grills to celebrate Independence Day.

Independence Day remains the most popular grilling holiday of the year, followed by Labor Day, birthdays, Memorial Day and Father's Day. The three foods that will be grilled most often are hamburgers (73 percent), chicken (41 percent) and steak (40 percent).

Though hot dogs, the featured attraction each July 4 in Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on Brooklyn's  Coney Island, won't be top dog on the grill this year, it remains the easiest food to grill, according to grill owners.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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